Updated: Sep 27, 2020
Swiss Pharmaceutical company, Roche, has finalized plans to close a share purchase agreement with Irish biotech company Inflazome. Inflazome’s shareholders will receive an upfront payment of $449 Million with additional contingent payments if Inflazome meets the milestones set out by its parent company.
Inflazome was established in 2016 by medical researchers Professor Luke O’Neill of Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, and Professor Matt Cooper of the University of Queensland, Australia. The startup's research focuses on the development of inflammasome inhibiting drugs.
“We are delighted to close this deal with Roche, an outstanding pharmaceutical company with a broad commitment to multiple indications,” said Matt Cooper, CEO of Inflazome. With Inflazome will be now part of the Roche organization, Inflazome’s pioneering molecules are well in line to be developed faster and more effectively so they can help patients suffering from debilitating diseases.”
The acquisition gives Roche exclusive access to Inflazome’s portfolio of clinical and preclinical orally available NLRP3 inhibitors, which the company aimed to continue to develop for a range of indications. Inflazome's portfolio currently boasts of two drugs that have already successfully passed phase 1 clinical trials. The first drug, Inzomelid, treats neurodegenerative disease in the brain, while the second drug, Somalix, treats inflammatory diseases in the rest of the body.
Plans are also in place by Roche to further develop Inflazome's products across various indications with a high unmet medical need. At the moment, the biotech firm is working on the development of drugs targeting inflammasomes linked to Parkinson's inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, and other chronic inflammatory diseases.
The groundbreaking deal joins the long list of deals involving investment in anti-inflammasome therapies focused on different parts of the protein complex, including Bristol Myers Squibb and Novartis, which have both acquired small molecules from IFM Therapeutics subsidiaries. Genentech, which is owned by Roche, acquired Jecure Therapeutics and its pipeline of NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors in 2018.